Cavalieri Rappresentatione Act I Scena Quarta

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Judith Nelson, Anima; Paul Hillier, Corpo; Ray Nurse, theorbo; Susan Harvey, harpsichord.


Text & English Translation

Anima mia che pensi?
Perche dogliosa stai,
Sempre traendo guai?

Vorrei riposo, e pace:
Vorrei diletto, e gioia,
E trovo affanno, e noia.

Ecco i miei sensi prendi,
Qui ti riposa, e godi
In mille varii modi.

Anima `
Non vò piu ber quest' acque,
Che la mia sete ardente
S' infiamma maggiormente.

Prendi l'honor del Mondo,
Qui gioir quanto vuoi,
Qui satiar ti puoi.

Nò, nò, ch'io sò per prova,
Con quanto assentio, e fele
Copre il suo falso mele.

Alma d'ogn' altra cosa
Tu sei più bella, e vaga:
In te dunque t' appaga.

Già non mi feci io stessa:
E come in me potrei
Quetar gli affetti miei?

Lasso che di noi fia!
Se ritrosa sei tanto,
Starenci sempre in pianto?

Questo nò, se m'ascolti,
E se meco rimiri
A più altri desiri.
Terra perche mi tiri
Pur alla terra? hor segui il voler mio,
Et amendue riposerenci in Dio.

Ahi! chi dà mi consiglio?
A qual di due m'appiglio?
L'Anima mi conforta,
Il senso mi trasporta,
La carne mia mi tenta,
L'eterno mi spaventa:
Misero che far deggio?
Attaccarommi al peggio?
Nò, nò, che non è giusto
Per un fallace gusto,
Per breve piacer mio,
Perder' il Ciel, la Vita eterna, e Dio.

Si che hormai Alma mia,
Con teco in compagnia
Cercarò con amore
Il Ciel, la vita eterna, e'l mio Signore.

My spirit, what are you thinking?
Why are you so sad,
always so troubled?

I long for peace and rest,
I long for happiness and joy,
and all I find are trouble and irritation.

Here, take my senses,
they will comfort and delight you
in a thousand lovely ways.

I no longer want to drink those waters
for they only further inflame
my terrible thirst.

Take the respect that the world offers you,
you can enjoy as much as you want;
that will satisfy you.

No, I know from experience already
how much bitterness
is covered by that false honey.

My soul, above all things
you are most beautiful and graceful:
rejoice in yourself.

It doesn't seem like that to me,
and besides, how can I escape into
myself from my own passions?

Well, then, what shall we do!
Will we just stand here forever
crying and complaining?

No, we won't, if you will listen to me,
and if, with me, you set your gaze
on higher desires.
Earth, why do you hold me down?
Now follow my flight
and let us repose together in God.

Alas! who can advise me?
Who should I believe?
My spirit supports me,
my senses carry me away,
the flesh tempts me,
the thought of eternity terrifies me.
Miserable as I am, what should I do?
Should I follow my lowest inclinations?
No, no, it doesn't make sense,
for the sake of a selfish enjoyment,
for the sake of a brief pleasure,
to risk my relation with everything divine.
All right, my soul,
I'm coming with you
to search, with love,
for the spiritual life.


from Cavalieri Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo, released January 6, 1996
Released on Koch International, 1996. Warren Stewart, producer; Peter Nothnagle, engineer. Recorded at St. Vincent's School for Boys, Marinwood CA
October 31-November 3, 1994.


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Magnificat San Francisco, California

For 20 years Magnificat has explored the emotionally charged music of the 17th Century, each season bringing together an assembly of internationally recognized musicians to present innovative programs that inspire the imagination. With dramatic flair and sensitivity to historical context, Magnificat imbues each concert with an infectious joy and a delight in musical make-believe. ... more

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